Sunday, April 23, 2006

For whom the bell tolls

After 36 constant hours of rain, I knew that as soon as the weather cleared, the male kestrel would be on the prowl. Near the nest I spotted him concealed on a fire escape.

After slipping away, he returned with prey!

He landed near the nest and called to the female...

Trying to lure her out with breakfast, he flew directly around the nest and over to their favorite antenna.

She then flew out to receive her prize.

For whom the bell tolls, sparrow, it tolls for thee!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Kestrel vs. Hawk

In what is becoming a daily routine, as the resident RTH's patrol their territory the male kestrel rises to vigourously defend it. This doesnt seem to deter the RTH's from moving through but when the kestrel attacks, they do take notice. I spotted the male hunting outside his nest late yesterday.

In a flash, he was off!

This starling hightails it outta there!

And the kestrel escorts the RTH off it's turf!

Spring Foward!

All the signs that the 2006 warbler migration is underway. Kinglets, palm warblers, pine warblers and yellow rumped warblers are appearing in greater numbers!


Also spotted this female kestrel at 25th and 10th ave.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Crow vs. Hawk

Even top predators like hawks have their foil in nature. Crows are mortal enemies of the RTH and will attack them relentlessly. Being smaller and more agile, a crow can manuver in close to use its beak to damage feathers. Of course, the hawk can also spin around and bring its talons into play--something for which the crow has no answer. While searching for the hawks, I frequently see crows spaced out throughout the neighborhood, waiting patiently for the hawks to move through. I caught this sequence late today as the hawk moved to roosting area...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Rooftop Level

Often I see hawks and falcons use the roofs and cornices as cover from which to launch ambushes. Here I was staking out a kestrel nest in one particular cornice when a huge RTH came arcing around the brownstones, trying to flush pigeons from cover.

The female kestrel then spun around,

and took to the air.

She then flew in to the nest!

Its a tight fit!

Then it was the male's turn...

due to his smaller size, he fit in easily!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Got some great looks at this guy late today. In one 30 minute stretch, I watched it hunt twice (both times were successful), spar with a blue jay, preen, puke and trade fish stories with an egret.

From another angle...